“Habit is the ballast that chains the dog to his vomit. Breathing is habit. Life is habit. Or rather life is a succession of habits, since the individual is a succession of individuals…Habit then is the generic term for the countless treaties concluded between the countless subjects that constitute the individual and their countless correlative objects. The periods of transition that separate consecutive adaptations…represent the perilous zones in the life of the individual, dangerous, precarious, painful, mysterious and fertile, when for a moment the boredom of living is replaced by the suffering of being.”

“The suffering of being: that is the free play of every faculty. Because the pernicious devotion of habit [paralyzes] our attention, drugs those handmaidens of perception whose cooperation is not absolutely essential.”

—Excerpted from Samuel Beckett’s essay on Proust
(via Esslin’s “The Search for the Self”)

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